Somewhere between Memorial Day and Independence Day, it’s common for people to get a little lazy about their fitness routine. It starts with one weekend BBQ binge, then a missed workout, then another, then another…
So, we want to push against these lazy days of summer – quite literally – and keep our bodies toned with a Plank Challenge this month. Are you in?
The Plank is a deceptively simple-looking isometric training move that just might be the best body-weight exercise for your core. There are a variety of progressions that require no equipment and can be done anytime, anywhere. That’s why Plank workouts are great to mix into your fitness routine this time of year, when vacations and holidays might be throwing your standard workout routine a bit off balance.
Benefits of the Plank
- Works your upper abs, lower abs, obliques and lower back
- Sculpts the waistline
- Improves your posture
- Adds power to your push-up
- Great for improving stability and balance
- Helps “train” your abs to stay contracted throughout the day
For the month of July, do at least a minute of Planks everyday. Anytime or anywhere. Whether you’re at the gym — before or after a workout — on a paddleboard at the beach or in your hotel room between vacation funtivities, challenge yourself each day.
There are a variety of plank progressions you can try, and you can even alternate between these movements to hold your Plank series for longer periods of time.
Do one or all of these at a time, starting with a total of one minute of Plank-work, and then increasing by 10-15 seconds each day. Give yourself a goal. Shoot for a minute. Can’t do a minute? Hold the position for 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, then hold for another 30 seconds. Can you work up to 2, 3 or 5 minutes by the end of the month? We know you can.
Stay strong this summer!
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.